Statement of curriculum Intent
Biology Students will develop a more scientific understanding of the world around them including the nature of organisms, how different organisms function and how they all interact with each other and the rest of the environment.
We aim to create the very best Biologists. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field. We do this through quality first teaching and adhering to an established scheme of work encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and facts and applying these to unfamiliar contexts. We teach content from basics through to advanced concepts spiralling back and building on previous work.
Practical work is also integral to the Biology curriculum. Students carry out core practicals at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to develop a range of scientific practical skills as well as transferable skills such as problem solving and teamwork. This work is further supported by the use of Lab Books, which are issued to all students and are used during practical lessons.
We aim to ensure that every student experiences an ambitious curriculum presented in a well-sequenced series of lessons and topics and taught by well-trained and motivated subject specialists. This will result in students who are confident to express scientific ideas, discuss technical issues and will go on to be informed citizens, alongside providing strong foundations for a specialised scientific career for those who wish to pursue Biology at a higher level.
- Understanding the basic structure of animal and plant cells, and then applying this to explaining how specialised cells are adapted for their function.
- Describing how different types of cells go through cell division (mitosis and meiosis), and how this knowledge is being applied out in the field, for example, the use of stem cells in treating various diseases.
- Evaluating the ethical issues of stem cell research.
- Understanding, through the work of Mendel, how genes are inherited.
- Describing how various different organ systems work in the human body, including the nervous, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory and reproductive systems.
- Making links with other aspects of science (for example, Chemistry) to explain how elements are cycled in the environment.
- Learning to ask scientific questions through scientific enquiry and use the laboratory resources and equipment to provide data to come to conclusions.
- Making links between scientific principles and theories and there applications in everyday life.
Chemistry students will develop a more scientific understanding of the world around them including the nature of materials, how materials can be made and changed in chemical reactions and how scientists describe and model these processes of change.
The Chemistry curriculum has been designed to provide a stimulating, engaging and intellectually challenging journey where each step in KS3 and KS4 builds on prior knowledge and understanding to ensure that concepts and ideas are fully mastered before moving on.
Practical work is integral to the curriculum and core practicals at KS3 and KS4 develop a broad range of scientific practical skills in addition to providing opportunities for students to acquire transferable skills such as self-efficacy, problem solving and teamwork.
Our philosophy is that every child should experience an ambitious curriculum presented in a well-sequenced series of lessons and topics and taught by well-trained and motivated subject specialists. This will result in students who, at the end of their time with us, are confident to express scientific ideas, discuss technical issues and will go on to be informed citizens, alongside providing strong foundations for a specialised scientific career for those who wish to pursue Chemistry at a higher level.
- Understanding how the particle model for matter can be used to explain physical and chemical processes, many of which they will encounter in everyday life.
- Understanding that atoms are the building blocks for all substances and that knowledge and understanding of the Periodic Table and its trends and patterns enables scientists to bring order to these atoms and make predictions about how they will react.
- Making detailed observations of chemical change and link these to a model of chemical change using word and symbol equations.
- Using chemical calculations to predict amounts of substance used or made in chemical reactions and know why these calculations are important for chemists in industry and laboratories.
- Describing how chemical reactions are used in the chemical industry to make everyday products such as metals, plastics, detergents, acids and fertilisers and that an understanding of how fast reactions are and how much product is made is fundamental to the economics of these processes.
- Evaluating the impact of human activity on the Earth and its environment and contribute to discussions using accurate and well-articulated arguments.
GCSE study in Physics provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Students will be encouraged to develop curiosity about the natural world, that gives them an insight into how science works and that enables them to appreciate its relevance to their everyday lives. The curriculum is structured to be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying and aims to encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by Physics and its achievements.
All students will learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Physics. They will gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to Physics and that are both inter-linked and of universal application. Students will develop teamwork skills, apply numeracy, and learn to effectively communicate their knowledge. These transferable skills will prepare them for their future in society and any career path they choose, alongside providing strong foundations for specialised Physics and Engineering Careers.
- They will hold their own point of view about developments in the world of Physics and articulate advantages and disadvantages, broadening their awareness through research and discussion.
- They will learn how Physics has developed over time, building on the understanding and research of others, and the importance of scientists working as a community.
- Through scientific enquiry they will learn to ask scientific questions and use the laboratory resources and equipment to provide data to come to conclusions.
- They will make connections between the scientific principles and theory they learn and the applications in everyday life.
- They will make connections between technology and the world around us and how Physics has forwarded our understanding of our planet and the wider Universe.
- They will be aware of how scientific theory links to the varied occupations that use Physics, as well as specific Physics and Engineering careers.
An understanding of science requires students to formulate testable hypotheses that can be accepted or rejected through objective and reproducible empirical research. Practical work provides students with a platform to explore and comprehend scientific knowledge. As students journey through the school, the ideas being learnt will become progressively more complex and abstract. Although much of science can be classed as ‘blue sky thinking’, students are shown the value of science in developing new technology which enhances our civilisation and cultural development.
Key Stage 3
All students develop an understanding of safe and valid practical work as they move through the KS3. Although the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics are taught separately, students are actively encouraged to make links between ideas and topics and explore the similarities and differences that occur, such as the role of particle theory in explaining pressure in a gas, collisions between molecules in reactions, and the diffusion of simple gases across a membrane.
Key Stage 4
Statement of curriculum Intent for GCSE (9-1) Combined Science
GCSE (9-1) Combined Science. Science matters. As a result, we study Pearson Edexcel Combined Science, so that every student can enjoy science, understand more about the scientific world and most importantly succeed in their studies.
Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students, here at Tomlinscote, will learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. As the course progresses, students will gain an understanding of the complexities of science and how a small number of key ideas can be interlinked and have universal application.
Students study the sciences because it helps to develop curiosity about the natural world. It gives them insights into how science works and allows them to appreciate its relevance in their everyday lives.
- The use of models and theories to make sense of complex ideas.
- Understanding that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and evaluation.
- Developing evaluative skills that allow scientific advances to be discussed and debated.
- Realising that an understanding and application of basic mathematics is crucial to understanding scientific processes and theories.
- Understanding and using of scientific vocabulary, terminology and definitions, which is essential when communicating with and between scientists.
- Developing their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of methods, evidence and conclusions.
Many of the topics studied in KS3 are revisited in significantly more depth in KS4. In addition, more complex scientific ideas and theories are learnt and applied to novel situations. Students become increasingly aware of the power of mathematics as a tool for exploring and validating scientific understanding. All students follow the science specifications which are written by Edexcel. Students’ learning is supported by a range of digital resources both in the classroom and beyond such as in the use of data-logging, modelling applications and with a digital textbook.